< Go Back

Santísima Trinidad Methodist Church

The Holy Trinity Methodist Church is more commonly called the Templo Metodista de la Santísima Trinidad. The church occupies the former cloister of the Franciscan Monastery around the corner. That’s the very old San Francisco Church and Monastery. It was founded in 1524 on the ruins of ancient Tenochtitlan.

The twelve Franciscans led by Friar Martin de Valencia arrived in that year with a mandate to establish the Church in Mexico. They were joined by Pedro de Gante, who’d arrived a year earlier. The monastery here was paid for by Hernán Cortés and famously built upon the Emperor Moctezuma’s “house of the wild beasts,” a sort of zoo or menagerie maintained during the final years of the Aztec Empire.

A number of buildings were begun here, and later damaged or destroyed. The interior of the grand cloister we see today, used as the Methodist Church, dates from 1649 when it the Friar Buenaventura de Salinas rebuilt it. At that time, the monastery had nine dormitories, and three hundred sleeping cells distributed around two cloisters. The brothers had two dining halls with a capacity for some 500 personnel. And the Monastery remained a powerful seat of social and governmental control for the entirety of New Spain throughout the colonial period.

In 1701, a stonemason named Antonio de Rojas expanded the cloister and added the upper floors with the same columns, arches, and stones as those below. The architect Pedro de Arrieta built the main staircase of the Monastery during the early 18th century. There are several other staircases too.

With the Reform of the mid-19th century, the monastery was divided. This, the “grand cloister” and the sacristy, became private property. In 1866, the celebrated circus-leader, Giuseppe Chiarini, leased the cloister for performances. He’d been invited to Mexico from Italy by Maximilian I. During that time, Chiarini opened the doorway to the Calle de Gante immediately east of the old cloister. The Methodist Church would later make use of this entranceway for their new church.

The property owner at that time, James Sullivan sold the property to the Methodist Episcopal Church of New York (i.e.; the North) in 1873. The Methodist Church leaders dedicated it to the Holy Trinity in that same year.  Their new façade was build by architect Luis G. Carrillo. Methodists from the southern United States, still divided by the Civil War, would remain in the Chapel of San Andrés until 1899 when they would move into the El Mesiías church nearly directly down the Aves. 16 de Septiembre/Independencia at Avenida Balderas. The distance is some 850 meters.

The sculpture of the Bible, nearly directly out front of the main church door, is the work of Tosia Malamud who’d earlier created the monumental Penelope far out on the Paseo de la Reforma. The sculpture of Peter of Ghent was a gift from the Belgian government to the people of Mexico.

Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México – Coordinación Nacional de Monumentos Históricos. Ficha del Catálogo Nacional de Monumentos Históricos Inmuebles número I-09-02039 . -. Disponible en:

How to get here


Templo de San Felipe de Jesús

Nearest at 0.07 kms.

San Francisco Temple & Monastery

Nearest at 0.07 kms.

Iturbide Palace

Nearest at 0.08 kms.


El Mesías Methodist Church, Av. Balderas

A historic Methodist church on the Avenida Balderas . . .

Calle de Gante

One of the unusually placid streets in the Historic Center . . .

Edificio La Mexicana, Madero

One of Avenida Madero's most famous corners . . .

Ottoman Clock / Plaza de Colegio de Niñas

One of Mexico City's best known public plazas...

Practical guide and services